Michael Kopech
23-Year-Old PitcherSP
60-Day IL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 3/1/2020
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Chicago's tantalizing fireballer grinded his way to a late-season MLB debut, battling control issues at Triple-A for much of the season. The excitement was short lived, as he required Tommy John surgery in mid-September. Kopech gave up a run on 11 hits and one walk while hitting five batters and striking out nine over 11 innings in his first three MLB starts (two were cut short by rain). He was pummeled in his final start, which also included a rain delay before he tore his UCL. There is a lot of noise in his tiny MLB sample -- elbow issues resulted in his velocity ticking down in each successive start and only one was unaffected by rain -- but in his debut outing his 96.8 mph four-seamer averaged 2,629 rpm -- Justin Verlander led qualified starters at 2,618 rpm. He also flashed a plus slider and plus changeup. Kopech will miss all of 2019 and with a normal recovery he will be fully healthy for spring training in 2020 -- 17-plus months removed from the surgery. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#748
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$Signed a contract with the Red Sox in June of 2014 that includes a $1.5 million signing bonus.
Throwing from 75 feet
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
March 15, 2019
Kopech (elbow) has increased his throwing distance to 75 feet, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Kopech continues to make steady progress in his return from Tommy John surgery, though he's still not expected to return at any point this year. He underwent the procedure in September, which should give him time to be ready to take part in spring training of 2020.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-36%
BAA vs LHP
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-36%
BAA vs LHP
2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .258 34 9 1 8 2 0 1
Since 2017vs Right .400 34 6 1 12 3 0 3
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .258 34 9 1 8 2 0 1
2018vs Right .400 34 6 1 12 3 0 3
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-80%
ERA on Road
2019
No Stats
2018
 
 
-80%
ERA on Road
2017
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 7.56 1.80 8.1 0 1 0 11.9 2.2 4.3
Since 2017Away 1.50 1.17 6.0 1 0 0 6.0 0.0 0.0
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 7.56 1.80 8.1 0 1 0 11.9 2.2 4.3
2018Away 1.50 1.17 6.0 1 0 0 6.0 0.0 0.0
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Michael Kopech
Farm Futures: Stashing Season 2.0
6 days ago
James Anderson looks at the best big-league-ready prospects still left on the farm, including red-hot Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker.
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34 days ago
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The Long Game: 20 Predictions
84 days ago
Erik Siegrist offers up his outside the box predictions for 2019, including a history-making performance from Gary Sanchez.
Mound Musings: AL Central Draft Day Targets
104 days ago
This week, Brad Johnson focuses on pitching staffs in the AL Central, where in Cleveland, starter Corey Kluber is a proven winner to lead any fantasy staff.
Farm Futures: Pitcher Tiers
106 days ago
James Anderson reviews the top fantasy prospects on the mound, where Forrest Whitley has the potential to someday be the first pitcher off the board in redraft leagues.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
Last year Kopech's doubters thought he would end up as a high-leverage reliever, but now he seems more likely to wind up on the cover of GQ than in a big-league bullpen. There are reasonable arguments for a couple other hurlers (Forrest Whitley and Alex Reyes), but Kopech will be ranked by most as the top pitching prospect in the game this offseason. In addition to his famed 80-grade fastball, which he can dial up to triple digits with ease, Kopech made massive strides with his slider and changeup. Both secondaries now project as plus offerings, and with improving command, a future No. 1 starter is coming into focus. The White Sox kept him at Double-A for most of 2017, but rewarded his improvement with a three-start run at Triple-A to close out the year. He will return to Charlotte, but he should spend the bulk of 2018 in the big-league rotation. His immediate floor is a high-strikeout ratio risk, but if he throws enough strikes, he could be an SP2 on a per-start basis.
Kopech made headlines in 2016, both bad and good. The bad was breaking his hand in spring training while getting into an altercation with a teammate, delaying his start to the season until July. Between this incident and missing 50 games of development in 2015 due to testing positive for a banned substance, there were some makeup questions dogging him. Once the 6-foot-3 right-hander started pitching, the good headlines started. His calling card is an overpowering fastball that touches triple digits. He breezed through Carolina League hitters, striking out 82 in 52 innings (14.2 K/9) and was clearly one of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League. It is easy to see why the White Sox insisted Kopech be part of the deal for Chris Sale. Commanding the heater (5.0 BB/9 in 2016) in addition to improving the secondary offerings and building up innings (134.2 in three seasons) make up his to-do list for 2017.
Kopech is one of Boston’s better pitching prospects at the lower levels of the organization, projecting as a No. 2 starter if it all clicks for him. He was given a challenging assignment to Low-A Greenville to start the season and was successful at that level, finishing 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA while striking out 70 in 65 innings. The bad news is that Kopech was suspended 50 games for testing positive for Oxilofrine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension wiped out the rest of his regular season, leaving him only an option of working out at team’s training facility in Fort Myers. He was able to work on a few things there, in particular his off-speed stuff and ironing out his mechanics. Kopech participated in the Fall Instructional League, making up for some lost development time. His major areas of focus in 2016 are repeating his delivery, commanding his fastball and refining the secondary stuff. He’ll likely open at Greenville.
Kopech was the second of Boston's two first-round picks in the 2014 draft. Coming out of high school, he was immediately assigned to the Gulf Coast League, where he held opponents to a measly .216 average and .255 slugging percentage. His problems with control and command were evident -- nine walks in 13.2 innings -- but his mid-90s heater (touching 97-98 mph) was effective against other rookies. Kopech has a lot of moving parts to his delivery, but has already worked to correct some of that. His secondary pitches are works in progress, but his raw stuff gives him a high ceiling if it can be harnessed. The Red Sox may challenge him at Low-A Greenville in 2015 for his first full-season assignment.
More Fantasy News
Placed on 60-day injured list
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
March 11, 2019
Kopech (elbow) was placed on the 60-day injured list Monday.
ANALYSIS
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Resumes throwing
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
February 5, 2019
Kopech (elbow) threw Tuesday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Undergoes successful surgery
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
September 19, 2018
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Lands on 60-day DL
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
September 8, 2018
Kopech (elbow) was placed on the 60-day disabled list Saturday.
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Recommended for Tommy John surgery
PChicago White Sox
Elbow
September 7, 2018
Kopech has a UCL tear and has been recommended for Tommy John surgery, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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